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G.A.T.E.: Study Skills

The Reading Environment

 


The Reading Environment

 

There are many things which can interfere with effective reading. Some of these involve common sense, and can be easily changed. Others are more subtle, and may require long and patient effort if they are to be overcome. Obviously, we should make the simple changes first, since these will give the greatest improvement with the least effort.

 

Something which most people can control rather easily is their reading environment. A poor physical setting can make reading far more difficult than it has to be, and yet a little planning can get around most of the harmful elements you may find. It is a question of motivation. We usually can do what we really want to do!

 

·         Lighting. Often it is helpful to do your  reading- the bulk of it, at least- in the same place. Check the lighting there. Is it adequate? You should be able to see the page without strain. Does the light create a glare, or are you in the habit of reading in the direct sunlight? Either extreme-too much light or too little- can cause strain and fatigue, and lower your reading efficiency.

 

·         Ventilation. Stuffy rooms put you to sleep. You should have plenty of fresh air(but not a draft) and the temperature should be fairly cool. Otherwise, you'll find yourself going to sleep over the most exciting books.

 

·         Reading Position. Your position should be neither too comfortable nor too uncomfortable. The first condition puts you right back to sleep again. In fact, some people "read themselves to sleep" in bed every night- which is fine if sleep, rather than reading, is what you're after. An uncomfortable position can create a strain, however subtle, which results in fatigue.

 

·         Focal Distance. Hold your book at an angle and keep it about 18 inches from your eyes. Remember: Long arms are not a substitute for corrective lenses. If you need glasses, wear them while you read. Persistent fatigue while studying or reading might be Nature's way of telling you that glasses are needed. Have an optometrist check your close-range vision.

 

·         Distractions. Most important, what about distractions you can see and hear? No matter what you think, tests show that you can only pay attention to one thing at a time. If you sit near a door or window, every movement will claim your attention. If you have a radio or record player going, your concentration may continually wander from book to sound. And reading with the television going combines the worst of all possible distractions.

 

Give yourself every break. If you are going to read, prepare things so you can read unhindered. If there is something more important, put the book aside. There are times to read and, just as definitely, there are times when reading must give way to other considerations.

 

 

 

 

Harvard Report on Reading

Getting to Know Your Textbook

 

Getting to Know Your Textbook

 

1. Examine the title page:

·         Who are the authors?

·         What is their standing in their fields? (Perhaps you can ask your professor.)

·         Do their training and background qualify them to write a book of this type?

·         Who are the publishers?

·         When was this textbook published? What does that tell you about the book?

 

2. Examine the preface or introduction:

·         Why is a preface written?

·         What does it tell you about the book?

·         Do the authors introduce any unusual features of your book in the preface and prepare you to be on the lookout for them?

 

3. Examine the table of contents:

·         What does the table of contents tell?

·         How is this textbook organized? What main divisions has it?

·         Compare the table of contents with that of another book in the same field. Do the two books cover the same topics? Are these the topics you expected to find covered in this text?

 

4. Examine index, glossary, other material at the back of the book:

·         How does the index differ from the table of contents? How does it resemble the table of contents?

·         What sort of topics should be looked up in the index instead of the table of contents?

·         What are cross references?

·         Is there a glossary in your textbook? Can you use diacritical markings successfully to pronounce a word?

·         Is there an appendix in your book? Why isn't this information included in the body of the book? How would it have affected the organization?

·         What is the literal meaning of "index" according to the dictionary?

 

5. Examine study questions, guides, and other helps:

·         Does the text provide study aids to help in understanding the text?

·         Are the study aids in the form of questions, exercises, or activities?

·         If questions are used, do they simply require finding the answers or must you do some critical problem-type thinking to arrive at answers?

·         Are there study aids both preceding and following a chapter? Which types of aids help you most?

·         Does the text provide suggestions for other readings or materials designed to help you understand this chapter?

 

6. Examine chapter headings, sectional headings, and margin guides:

·         Look at the chapter heading and then the section headings that follow. Write them down and see if this gives an overview of the chapter.

·         How do headings help in skimming a chapter for specific information?

·         Do you find different kinds of type in your chapter? Does this help you understand the organization of your textbook better? How?

·         Does the text provide help in identifying material to be found within each paragraph? Is the topic sentence indicated?

·         Does the book use summaries? How do these help? What is the difference between giving the gist of a chapter and summarizing its contents?

 

7. Examine maps, pictures, charts, diagrams, and tables:

·        Which of these visual aids is used? Do you understand them?

Using Your Textbook

 

Using Your Textbook

 

 

When you purchase a new book, there are several things you should do automatically.

 

I. Look in the front:

 

A. Read and think about the table of contents.

1. This will show you the overall organization of the course and help identify what's important.

2. It will get you interested in the material.

 

B. Glance over any preface or foreword to see what the book is trying to do.

 

C. Consider the title. This is often a significant statement about the book's "slant." Do you know the author?

 

II. Look in the back:

 

A. Glance at the index. This is a listing of subject and pages upon which they can be found.

1. You can tell from the percentage of known and unknown words how difficult the text will be for you.

2. You can see with great precision what the course is concerned with.

 

3. You can look up specific items of interest.

 

4. As a review for tests, you can easily look up unknown items since the page number is given.

 

B. Is there a glossary listing unknown words and their definitions?

1. The main concern of many courses is to teach the vocabulary of the subject. This is a vital section, not something to be ignored.

 

2. Use a post-it to make a page tab and undertake to study and learn these words during the term. Use the tab for easy reference during time between classes-time which might otherwise be wasted.

 

C. Determine what other possibly useful materials are in the back-before you need them. You don't have to read them now; just know that they exist .

 

III. Determine how a typical chapter is constructed. (All of the other chapters will be put together the same way. If one chapter has a summary, they all will; if one chapter has questions, they all will.) Use this knowledge when you have a reading assignment. Structure your approach accordingly.

 

IV. Don't be afraid to write in your book IN PENCIL -vocabulary words, condensations of ideas, personal reactions, etc. Interact with the book the way you'd interact with a person. Your texts provide a valuable resource during and after your academic career.

 

 

©Academic Skills Center, Dartmouth College 2001

Six Reading Myths

Six Reading Myths

©Academic Skills Center, Dartmouth College 2001

 

MYTH 1: I HAVE TO READ EVERY WORD

 

         Many of the words used in writing grammatically correct sentences actually convey no meaning.  If, in reading, you exert as much effort in conceptualizing these meaningless words as you do important ones, you limit not only your reading speed but your comprehension as well.

 

 

MYTH 2: READING ONCE IS ENOUGH

 

         Skim once as rapidly as possible to determine the main idea and to identify those parts that need careful reading.  Reread more carefully to plug the gaps in your knowledge.

         Many college students fell that something must be wrong with their brain power if they must read a textbook chapter more than once.  To be sure, there are students for whom one exposure to an idea in a basic course is enough, but they either have read extensively or have an excellent background or a high degree of interest in the subject.

         For most students in most subjects, reading once is not enough.  However, this is not to imply that an unthinking Pavlovian-like rereading is necessary to understand and retain materials.  Many students automatically regress or reread doggedly with a self-punishing attitude. ("I didn't get a thing out of that paragraph the first time, so if I punish myself by rereading it maybe I will this time.") This is the hardest way to do it.

         Good reading is selective reading.  It involves selecting those sections that are relevant to your purpose in reading.  Rather than automatically rereading, take a few seconds to quiz yourself on the material you have just read and then review those sections that are still unclear or confusing to you.

         The most effective way of spending each study hour is to devote as little time as possible to reading and as much time as possible to testing yourself, reviewing, organizing, and relating the concepts and facts, mastering the technical terms, formulas, etc., and thinking of applications of the concepts-in short, spend your time learning ideas, not painfully processing words visually.

 

 

MYTH 3: IT IS SINFUL TO SKIP PASSAGES IN READING

 

         Many college students feel that it is somehow sinful to skip passages in reading and to read rapidly.  We are not sure just how this attitude develops, but some authorities have suggested that it stems from the days when the Bible was the main book read, savored, and reread.  Indeed, the educated person was one who could quote long passages from these books from memory.

         Today proliferation of books and printed matter brought about by the information explosion creates a reading problem for everyone.  Furthermore, much of this printed material offers considerably less than Shakespeare or the Bible in meaning or style.  You must, of course, make daily decisions as to what is worth spending your time on, what can be glanced at or put aside for future perusal, and what can be relegated to the wastebasket.

         The idea that you cannot skip but have to read every page is old-fashioned.  Children, however, are still taught to feel guilty if they find a novel dull and out it down before finishing it.  I once had a student who felt she could not have books in her home unless she had read every one of them from cover to cover.  Studies show that this is the reason many people drop Book-of-the-Month Club subscriptions; they begin to collect books, cannot keep up with their reading, and develop guilty feelings about owning books they have not had time to read.

         The idea that some books are used merely for reference purposes and are nice to have around in case you need them seems to be ignored in our schools.  Sir Francis Bacon once said that some books are to be nibbled and tasted, some are to be swallowed whole, and a few need to be thoroughly chewed and digested no matter how trivial the content.  No wonder many people dislike reading.

 

 

MYTH 4: MACHINES ARE NECESSARY TO IMPROVE MY READING SPEED

 

         Nonsense!  The best and most effective way to increase your reading rate is to consciously force yourself to read faster.  Machines are useful as motivators, but only because they show you that you can read faster without losing understanding.  Remember that they are inflexible, unthinking devices that churn away at the same rate regardless of whether the sentence is trivial or vital, simple or difficult.  They are limited too, for if you are practicing skimming, you are looking for main ideas so that you can read more carefully.  Since these may not be located in a definite pattern (e.g. one per line) nor be equally spaced so that the machine can conveniently time them, machines may actually slow you down and retard the speed with which you locate the ideas that you need for understanding.  If you find yourself in need of a pusher, use a 3x5 card as a pacer, or use your hand, or your finger.  However, there is one caution you should observe if you try this.  Be sure that your hand or finger or card is used to push, not merely to follow your eyes.

 

 

MYTH 5: IF I SKIM OR READ TOO RAPIDLY MY COMPREHENSION WILL DROP

 

         Many people refuse to push themselves faster in reading for fear that they will lose comprehension.  However, research shows that there is little relationship between rate and comprehension.  Some students read rapidly and comprehend well, others read slowly and comprehend poorly.  Whether you have good comprehension depends on whether you can extract and retain the important ideas from your reading, not on how fast you read.  If you can do this, you can also increase your speed.  If you "clutch up" when trying to read fast or skim and worry about your comprehension, it will drop because your mind is occupied with your fears and you are not paying attention to the ideas that you are reading.

         If you concentrate on your purpose for reading -- e.g. locating main ideas and details, and forcing yourself to stick to the task of finding them quickly -- both your speed and comprehension could increase.  Your concern should be not with how fast you can get through a chapter, but with how quickly you can locate the facts and ideas that you need.

 

 

MYTH 6: THERE IS SOMETHING ABOUT MY EYES THAT KEEPS ME FROM READING FAST

 

         This belief is nonsense too, assuming that you have good vision or wear glasses that correct your eye problems.  Of course, if you cannot focus your eyes at the reading distance, you will have trouble learning to skim and scan.  Furthermore, if you have developed the habit of focusing your eyes too narrowly and looking at word parts, it will be harder for you to learn to sweep down a page of type rapidly.

         Usually it is your brain, not your eyes, that slows you down in reading.  Your eyes are capable of taking in more words than your brain is used to processing.  If you sound out words as you read, you will probably read very slowly and have difficulty in skimming and scanning until you break this habit.

 

 

Steps to Follow in Skimming for the Main Ideas

 

  1. First, read the title of the chapter or selection carefully.  Determine what clues it gives you as to what the selection is about.  Watch for key words like "causes," "results," "effects," etc., and do not overlook signal words such as those suggesting controversy (e.g. "versus," "pros and cons"), which indicate that the author is planning to present both sides of an argument.

 

  1. Look carefully at the headings and other organizational clues. These tip you off to the main points that the author wants you to learn.  You may be accustomed to overlooking boldface headings and titles which are the obvious clues to the most important ideas.  If you concentrate on the details and ignore the main ideas, you will have much more difficulty retaining the information you read.

 

    Remember that authors of college textbooks want you to recognize the important concepts.  They use:

 

  1. Major headings and subheadings to convey major points.
  2. Italicized words and phrases so that crucial new terms and definitions will stand out.
  3. Lists of points set off by numbers or paragraphs that begin with the phrases such as "The three most important factors . . . " etc.
  4. Redundancy or repetition.  By stating and restating the facts and ideas, the author ensures that you will be exposed in different ways to the concepts she feels are the most crucial for you to understand.  She hopes that on at least one of these exposures you will absorb the idea.  Therefore, it is vital that you recognize when an important concept is being restated in slightly different words and when you have completely mastered the idea.

    

                                                                                                                                                    -Martha Maxwell

 

 

 

 

©Academic Skills Center, Dartmouth College 2001 

 

Six Reading Myths

©Academic Skills Center, Dartmouth College 2001

 

MYTH 1: I HAVE TO READ EVERY WORD

 

         Many of the words used in writing grammatically correct sentences actually convey no meaning.  If, in reading, you exert as much effort in conceptualizing these meaningless words as you do important ones, you limit not only your reading speed but your comprehension as well.

 

 

MYTH 2: READING ONCE IS ENOUGH

 

         Skim once as rapidly as possible to determine the main idea and to identify those parts that need careful reading.  Reread more carefully to plug the gaps in your knowledge.

         Many college students fell that something must be wrong with their brain power if they must read a textbook chapter more than once.  To be sure, there are students for whom one exposure to an idea in a basic course is enough, but they either have read extensively or have an excellent background or a high degree of interest in the subject.

         For most students in most subjects, reading once is not enough.  However, this is not to imply that an unthinking Pavlovian-like rereading is necessary to understand and retain materials.  Many students automatically regress or reread doggedly with a self-punishing attitude. ("I didn't get a thing out of that paragraph the first time, so if I punish myself by rereading it maybe I will this time.") This is the hardest way to do it.

         Good reading is selective reading.  It involves selecting those sections that are relevant to your purpose in reading.  Rather than automatically rereading, take a few seconds to quiz yourself on the material you have just read and then review those sections that are still unclear or confusing to you.

         The most effective way of spending each study hour is to devote as little time as possible to reading and as much time as possible to testing yourself, reviewing, organizing, and relating the concepts and facts, mastering the technical terms, formulas, etc., and thinking of applications of the concepts-in short, spend your time learning ideas, not painfully processing words visually.

 

 

MYTH 3: IT IS SINFUL TO SKIP PASSAGES IN READING

 

         Many college students feel that it is somehow sinful to skip passages in reading and to read rapidly.  We are not sure just how this attitude develops, but some authorities have suggested that it stems from the days when the Bible was the main book read, savored, and reread.  Indeed, the educated person was one who could quote long passages from these books from memory.

         Today proliferation of books and printed matter brought about by the information explosion creates a reading problem for everyone.  Furthermore, much of this printed material offers considerably less than Shakespeare or the Bible in meaning or style.  You must, of course, make daily decisions as to what is worth spending your time on, what can be glanced at or put aside for future perusal, and what can be relegated to the wastebasket.

         The idea that you cannot skip but have to read every page is old-fashioned.  Children, however, are still taught to feel guilty if they find a novel dull and out it down before finishing it.  I once had a student who felt she could not have books in her home unless she had read every one of them from cover to cover.  Studies show that this is the reason many people drop Book-of-the-Month Club subscriptions; they begin to collect books, cannot keep up with their reading, and develop guilty feelings about owning books they have not had time to read.

         The idea that some books are used merely for reference purposes and are nice to have around in case you need them seems to be ignored in our schools.  Sir Francis Bacon once said that some books are to be nibbled and tasted, some are to be swallowed whole, and a few need to be thoroughly chewed and digested no matter how trivial the content.  No wonder many people dislike reading.

 

 

MYTH 4: MACHINES ARE NECESSARY TO IMPROVE MY READING SPEED

 

         Nonsense!  The best and most effective way to increase your reading rate is to consciously force yourself to read faster.  Machines are useful as motivators, but only because they show you that you can read faster without losing understanding.  Remember that they are inflexible, unthinking devices that churn away at the same rate regardless of whether the sentence is trivial or vital, simple or difficult.  They are limited too, for if you are practicing skimming, you are looking for main ideas so that you can read more carefully.  Since these may not be located in a definite pattern (e.g. one per line) nor be equally spaced so that the machine can conveniently time them, machines may actually slow you down and retard the speed with which you locate the ideas that you need for understanding.  If you find yourself in need of a pusher, use a 3x5 card as a pacer, or use your hand, or your finger.  However, there is one caution you should observe if you try this.  Be sure that your hand or finger or card is used to push, not merely to follow your eyes.

 

 

MYTH 5: IF I SKIM OR READ TOO RAPIDLY MY COMPREHENSION WILL DROP

 

         Many people refuse to push themselves faster in reading for fear that they will lose comprehension.  However, research shows that there is little relationship between rate and comprehension.  Some students read rapidly and comprehend well, others read slowly and comprehend poorly.  Whether you have good comprehension depends on whether you can extract and retain the important ideas from your reading, not on how fast you read.  If you can do this, you can also increase your speed.  If you "clutch up" when trying to read fast or skim and worry about your comprehension, it will drop because your mind is occupied with your fears and you are not paying attention to the ideas that you are reading.

         If you concentrate on your purpose for reading -- e.g. locating main ideas and details, and forcing yourself to stick to the task of finding them quickly -- both your speed and comprehension could increase.  Your concern should be not with how fast you can get through a chapter, but with how quickly you can locate the facts and ideas that you need.

 

 

MYTH 6: THERE IS SOMETHING ABOUT MY EYES THAT KEEPS ME FROM READING FAST

 

         This belief is nonsense too, assuming that you have good vision or wear glasses that correct your eye problems.  Of course, if you cannot focus your eyes at the reading distance, you will have trouble learning to skim and scan.  Furthermore, if you have developed the habit of focusing your eyes too narrowly and looking at word parts, it will be harder for you to learn to sweep down a page of type rapidly.

         Usually it is your brain, not your eyes, that slows you down in reading.  Your eyes are capable of taking in more words than your brain is used to processing.  If you sound out words as you read, you will probably read very slowly and have difficulty in skimming and scanning until you break this habit.

 

 

Steps to Follow in Skimming for the Main Ideas

 

1.       First, read the title of the chapter or selection carefully.  Determine what clues it gives you as to what the selection is about.  Watch for key words like "causes," "results," "effects," etc., and do not overlook signal words such as those suggesting controversy (e.g. "versus," "pros and cons"), which indicate that the author is planning to present both sides of an argument.

 

2.       Look carefully at the headings and other organizational clues. These tip you off to the main points that the author wants you to learn.  You may be accustomed to overlooking boldface headings and titles which are the obvious clues to the most important ideas.  If you concentrate on the details and ignore the main ideas, you will have much more difficulty retaining the information you read.

 

    Remember that authors of college textbooks want you to recognize the important concepts.  They use:

 

a.       Major headings and subheadings to convey major points.

b.       Italicized words and phrases so that crucial new terms and definitions will stand out.

c.       Lists of points set off by numbers or paragraphs that begin with the phrases such as "The three most important factors . . . " etc.

d.       Redundancy or repetition.  By stating and restating the facts and ideas, the author ensures that you will be exposed in different ways to the concepts she feels are the most crucial for you to understand.  She hopes that on at least one of these exposures you will absorb the idea.  Therefore, it is vital that you recognize when an important concept is being restated in slightly different words and when you have completely mastered the idea.

    

                                                                                                                                                    -Martha Maxwell

 

 

 

 

©Academic Skills Center, Dartmouth College 2001

Vary Your Reading Rate

 

Vary Your Reading Rate

 

 

Good readers are flexible in their reading attack. Unlike the plodder, who reads consistently at 200 words per minute, or the superficial reader, who may read everything rapidly, well-trained readers have the capacity to adjust their speed to the material.

 

Rate adjustment may be overall adjustment to the article as a whole, or it may be internal adjustment within the article.

 

 

Overall adjustment is the basic rate at which the total article is read.

 

 

Internal adjustment is concerned with the necessary variations in rate that take place as each part of the material is read.

 

To illustrate this, suppose you plan to take a 100-mile trip. Since this is a relatively hard drive, with hills, curves, and a mountain pass, you decide to take three hours for the total trip, averaging about 35 miles per hour. This is your overall speed adjustment. However, in actual driving, you may slow down to no more than 15 miles per hour on some curves and hills, while on relatively straight and level sections you may drive up to 50 miles per hour. This is your internal speed adjustment. in short, there is no set rate which the good reader follows inflexibly in reading a particular selection, even though an over all rate is set for the total job.

 

Base your rate adjustment on:

 

1. Your purpose. What do you want to get from the material?

2. The nature and difficulty of the material.

3. The amount of previous experience you have had with this subject.

 

 

Your reading purpose: Circumstances will determine why you are reading and how much you have to get out of your reading. For example, a chapter may have been assigned in class, or you may be gathering material for a speech, or you may be trying to impress your friends by your knowledge of Shakespeare. You need to be eminently clear not only on such general purposes but also on specific purpose.

 

To "get the gist," read very rapidly.

To understand general ideas, read fairly rapidly.

To get and retain detailed facts, read at a moderate rate.

To locate specific information, skim or scan at a rapid rate.

To determine value of material, skim at a very rapid rate.

To preread or postread, scan at a fairly rapid rate.

To read for enjoyment, read rapidly or slowly, depending on what you want.

To build general background, read rapidly.

 

 

Nature and difficulty of material: First of all, this involves an overall adjustment in rate to match you thinking ability. Obviously, overall level of difficulty depends on who's doing the reading. While Einstein's theories may be extremely difficult to most laypeople, they may be very simple and clear to a professor of physics. hence, the laypeople and the physics professor must make different overall adjustments in rate of reading the same material. General reading which is difficult for you will require a slower rate; simpler material will permit a faster rate.

 

©Academic Skills Center, Dartmouth College 2001

A few broad suggestions may help you to select your rate(s) within the particular article:

 

Decrease speed when you find the following:

 

1. an unfamiliar word not made clear by the sentence. Try to understand it from the way it's used; then read on and return to it later. You may wish to underline the word so you can find it again quickly.

 

2. Long and uninvolved sentence and paragraph structure. Slow down enough to enable you to untangle them and get an accurate idea of what the passage says.

 

3. Unfamiliar or abstract ideas. Look for applications or examples which will give them meaning. Demand that an idea "make sense." Never give up until you understand, because it will be that much easier the next time. Find someone to help you if necessary.

 

4. Detailed, technical material. This includes complicated directions, abstract principles, materials on which you have scant background.

 

5. Material on which you want detailed retention. The key to memory is organization and recitation. Speed should not be a consideration here.

 

 

Increase speed when you find the following:

 

1. Simple material with few ideas new to you. Move rapidly over the familiar; spend most of your time on the few unfamiliar ideas.

 

2. Unnecessary examples and illustrations. These are included to clarify ideas. If not needed, move over them rapidly.

 

3. Detailed explanation and elaboration which you do not need.

 

4. Broad, generalized ideas. These can be rapidly grasped, even with scan techniques.

 

 

Skip that material which is not suitable for your purpose. While the author may have thought particular information was relevant, his/her reason for writing was not necessarily the same as your reason for reading.

 

Remember to keep your reading attack flexible. Shift gears from selection to selection. Use low gear when the going is steep; shift into high when you get to the smooth parts. Remember to adjust your rate within a given article according to the type of road you are traveling and to your purposes in traveling it. Most important, remember: Reading this paper hasn't done you and good. Not yet. You must practice these techniques until a flexible reading rate becomes second nature to you.

 

 

 

©Academic Skills Center, Dartmouth College 2001

The Pivotal Words

 

The Pivotal Words

©Academic Skills Center, Dartmouth College 2001

No words are as helpful while reading as the prepositions and conjunctions that guide your mind along the pathways of the author's ideas. A word like furthermore says, "Keep going!" However says, "Easy!" Master these words and phrases and you will almost immediately become a better reader, for they will whisper directions in your inner ear.

 

Additive words

            These say, "Here's more of the same coming up. It's just as important as what we have already said."

                        also                              further                           moreover

                        and                               furthermore                    too

                        besides             in addition

 

Equivalent words

            They say, "It does what I have just said, but it does this too."

                        as well as                      at the same time            similarly

                        equally important           likewise

 

Amplification words

            The author is saying, "I want to be sure that you understand my idea; so here's a specific instance."

                        for example(e.g.)            specifically                    as

                        for instance                   such as             like

 

Alternative words

            These point out, "Sometimes there is a choice; other times there isn't."

                        either/or                        other than

                        neither/nor                     otherwise

 

Repetitive words

            They say, "I said it once, but I'm going to say it again in case you missed it the first time."

                        again                            in other words

                        to repeat                       that is(i.e.)

 

Contrast and change words

            "So far I've given you only one side of the story; now let's take a look at the other side."

                        but                                on the contrary  still

                        conversely                     on the other hand           though 

                        despite                          instead of                      yet

                        however             rather than                     regardless

                        nevertheless                  even though                   whereas

                        in spite of                      notwithstanding

 

Cause and effect words

            "All this has happened; now I'll tell you why."

                        accordingly                    since                            then

                        because                        so                                 thus

                        consequently                 hence                           therefore

                        for this reason

 

Qualifying words

            These say, "Here is what we can expect. These are the conditions we are working under."

                        if                                   although                        unless

                        providing                        whenever                      

 

Concession words

            They say, "Okay! We agree on this much."

                        accepting the data         granted that                   of course

 

Emphasizing words

            They say, "Wake up and take notice!"

                        above all                        more important  indeed

 

Order words

            The author is saying, "You keep your mind on reading: I'll keep the numbers straight."

                        finally                            second                          then

                        first                               next                              last

 

Time words     

            "Let's keep the record straight on who said what and especially when."

                        afterwards                     meanwhile                     now

                        before                           subsequently                 presently          

                        formerly             ultimately                      previously

                        later

 

Summarizing words

            These say, "We've said many things so far. Let's stop here and pull them together."

                        for these reasons           in brief

                        in conclusion                 to sum up

 

 

 

 

 

©Academic Skills Center, Dartmouth College 2001